Moon Bear

Moon Bear by Brenda Z. Guiberson, illlustrated by Ed Young

Follow a moon bear through a year from one spring to the next.  Each page begins with a question that is then answered through a short verse.  So much of the book, just as with the bear’s life, is taken up with the search for food.  Food that will make children squirm and food that they too would love to find.  Guiberson’s text is more poetry than scientific information, offering readers a beautiful look at a rare creature.  Adding to the beauty of the book are the amazing collage illustrations by Ed Young.

The question and answer format of the text in this book make the book very intriguing and inviting.  The fact that it is verse works very well here, brief condensed verse.  This is certainly a nature picture book but never becomes dry with facts, rather it is an ode to an endangered creature.

Young’s illustrations add an exciting element to the book.  Done in collage, they contain photographs and patterns that keep the eye fascinated.  The illustrations also capture textures, combining them to great effect.  As the book comes full circle, it offers children a treat at the end of the book.  The author’s note at the end contains facts about moon bears as well as photographs of the bears.  To my eye, the ones built out of Young’s collage look even more real and true. 

Highly recommended, this is a celebration of a unique bear that we should all get to know with this unique treatment.  Appropriate for ages 4-8.

Reviewed from copy received from Henry Holt.